Kobe Vlieghe

Ghent University, Gand, Flanders, Belgium

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Publications (6)41 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Because of their sessile life style, plants have evolved the ability to adjust to environmentally harsh conditions. An important aspect of stress adaptation involves the reprogramming of the cell cycle to ensure optimal growth. The atypical E2F transcription factor DP-E2F-like 1 (E2Fe/DEL1) had been found previously to be an important regulator of the endocycle onset. Here, a novel role for E2Fe/DEL1 was identified as a transcriptional repressor of the type-II cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer-photolyase DNA repair gene PHR1. Upon ultraviolet-B (UV-B) treatment, plants knocked out for E2Fe/DEL1 had improved DNA repair abilities when compared with control plants, whereas those overexpressing it performed less well. Better DNA repair allowed E2Fe/DEL1 knockout plants to resume endoreduplication faster than control plants, contributing in this manner to UV-B radiation resistance by compensating the stress-induced reduction in cell number by ploidy-dependent cell growth. As E2Fe/DEL1 levels decreased upon UV-B treatment, we hypothesize that the coordinated transcriptional induction of PHR1 with the endoreduplication onset contributes to the adaptation of plants exposed to UV-B stress.
    The EMBO Journal 01/2011; 30(2):355-63. · 9.82 Impact Factor
  • Kobe Vlieghe, Dirk Inzé, Lieven de Veylder
    11/2007: pages 227 - 248; , ISBN: 9780470988923
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    ABSTRACT: Entry into the S phase of the cell cycle is controlled by E2F transcription factors that induce the transcription of genes required for cell cycle progression and DNA replication. Although the E2F pathway is highly conserved in higher eukaryotes, only a few E2F target genes have been experimentally validated in plants. We have combined microarray analysis and bioinformatics tools to identify plant E2F-responsive genes. Promoter regions of genes that were induced at the transcriptional level in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) seedlings ectopically expressing genes for the E2Fa and DPa transcription factors were searched for the presence of E2F-binding sites, resulting in the identification of 181 putative E2F target genes. In most cases, the E2F-binding element was located close to the transcription start site, but occasionally could also be localized in the 5' untranslated region. Comparison of our results with available microarray data sets from synchronized cell suspensions revealed that the E2F target genes were expressed almost exclusively during G1 and S phases and activated upon reentry of quiescent cells into the cell cycle. To test the robustness of the data for the Arabidopsis E2F target genes, we also searched for the presence of E2F-cis-acting elements in the promoters of the putative orthologous rice (Oryza sativa) genes. Using this approach, we identified 70 potential conserved plant E2F target genes. These genes encode proteins involved in cell cycle regulation, DNA replication, and chromatin dynamics. In addition, we identified several genes for potentially novel S phase regulatory proteins.
    Plant physiology 10/2005; 139(1):316-28. · 6.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endoreduplication or DNA replication without mitosis is widespread in nature. Well-known examples are fruit fly polytene chromosomes and cereal endosperm. Although endocycles are thought to be driven by the same regulators as those that control the G1-S transition of the mitotic cell cycle, the molecular mechanisms that differentiate mitotically dividing cells from endoreduplicating ones are largely unknown. A novel class of atypical E2F-like proteins has recently been identified and is designated E2F7 in mammals and DP-E2F-like (DEL) in Arabidopsis thaliana . We demonstrate that loss of DEL1 function resulted in increased ploidy levels, whereas ectopic expression of DEL1 reduced endoreduplication. Ploidy changes were correlated with altered expression of a subset of E2F target genes encoding proteins necessary for DNA replication. Because DEL1 proteins were postulated to antagonize the E2F pathway, we generated DEL1-E2Fa-DPa triple transgenics. DEL1 inhibited the endoreduplication phenotype, but not the ectopic cell divisions that resulted from the overexpression of both E2Fa and DPa, illustrating that DEL1 specifically represses the endocycle. Because DEL1 transcripts were detected exclusively in mitotically dividing cells, we conclude that DEL1 is an important novel inhibitor of the endocycle and preserves the mitotic state of proliferating cells by suppressing transcription of genes that are required for cells to enter the DNA endoreduplication cycle.
    Current Biology 02/2005; 15(1):59-63. · 9.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants overproducing the E2Fa-DPa transcription factor have two distinct cell-specific phenotypes: some cells divide ectopically and others are stimulated to endocycle. The decision of cells to undergo extra mitotic divisions has been postulated to depend on the presence of a mitosis-inducing factor (MIF). Plants possess a unique class of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs; B-type) for which no ortholog is found in other kingdoms. The peak of CDKB1;1 activity around the G2-M boundary suggested that it might be part of the MIF. Plants that overexpressed a dominant negative allele of CDKB1;1 underwent enhanced endoreduplication, demonstrating that CDKB1;1 activity was required to inhibit the endocycle. Moreover, when the mutant CDKB1;1 allele was overexpressed in an E2Fa-DPa-overproducing background, it enhanced the endoreduplication phenotype, whereas the extra mitotic cell divisions normally induced by E2Fa-DPa were repressed. Surprisingly, CDKB1;1 transcription was controlled by the E2F pathway, as shown by its upregulation in E2Fa-DPa-overproducing plants and mutational analysis of the E2F binding site in the CDKB1;1 promoter. These findings illustrate a cross talking mechanism between the G1-S and G2-M transition points.
    The Plant Cell 11/2004; 16(10):2683-92. · 9.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previously we have shown that overexpression of the heterodimeric E2Fa-DPa transcription factor in Arabidopsis thaliana results in ectopic cell division, increased endoreduplication, and an early arrest in development. To gain a better insight into the phenotypic behavior of E2Fa-DPa transgenic plants and to identify E2Fa-DPa target genes, a transcriptomic microarray analysis was performed. Out of 4,390 unique genes, a total of 188 had a twofold or more up- (84) or down-regulated (104) expression level in E2Fa-DPa transgenic plants compared to wild-type lines. Detailed promoter analysis allowed the identification of novel E2Fa-DPa target genes, mainly involved in DNA replication. Secondarily induced genes encoded proteins involved in cell wall biosynthesis, transcription and signal transduction or had an unknown function. A large number of metabolic genes were modified as well, among which, surprisingly, many genes were involved in nitrate assimilation. Our data suggest that the growth arrest observed upon E2Fa-DPa overexpression results at least partly from a nitrogen drain to the nucleotide synthesis pathway, causing decreased synthesis of other nitrogen compounds, such as amino acids and storage proteins.
    Journal of Cell Science 11/2003; 116(Pt 20):4249-59. · 5.88 Impact Factor